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Friday, 5th February 2016

UK: Cancer Drugs Fund

Source: House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts

From Summary:

Survival rates for cancer patients in England have generally been worse than those in other high-income countries in Europe, mainly because patients in England tend to be diagnosed later and have poorer access to treatment. The government set up the Cancer Drugs Fund in 2010 to improve access to cancer drugs that would not otherwise be routinely available on the NHS. In the last five years about 80,000 people received drugs through the Fund. However, the Department of Health and NHS England do not have the data needed to assess the impact of the Fund on patient outcomes, such as extending patients’ lives, or to demonstrate whether this is a good use of taxpayers’ money. NHS England overspent the Fund’s £480 million budget for the two years 2013–14 and 2014–15 by £167 million. The cost of the Fund grew from £175 million in 2012–13 to £416 million in 2014–15, an increase of 138% in two years, but NHS England did not start to take action to control the cost until November 2014. There is agreement that the Fund is not sustainable in its current form and NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are currently consulting on proposals to reform the Fund from April 2016.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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